The chances of Sevilla boss Unai Emery opting for a change of scene have increased considerably according to Ladbrokes, who now price the Europa League-winning coach as odds-on favourite to become the next permanent West Ham manager.
Despite Emery earning Sevilla the golden ticket of Champions League qualification thanks to the retention of the continent’s second-tier competition, this hasn’t prevented a hive of betting activity on the Spaniard heading to the Boleyn Ground.
With Sky Sports reporting that talks between the Irons and the former Valencia coach are due within 48 hours, it seems clear that punters have reacted accordingly.
Having spent almost the entirety of his decade in management on home shores – other than an ill-fated six months stint at Spartak Moscow in 2012 – the well-respected coach may feel he’s ready for another new challenge.
The Premier League is sure to confront Emery with a stern examination, especially in east London where budget constraints usually prevent Europe’s very top talent from arriving at West Ham.
As his double European triumph and successive fifth-place La Liga finishes highlight, though, extracting the most out of such a situation is Emery’s forte to date.
Although Sam Allardyce led the Irons to an eventual 12th-place finish in 2014/15, the recently-axed manager had lifted the club to the heady heights of fourth approaching the Christmas period, only for results to dry up in 2015.
There is obvious potential within the squad, while Emery could have more than half an eye on the relocation of West Ham to the regal surroundings of the Olympic Stadium for the start of the 2016/17 campaign.
Previous favourite to succeed Allardyce was Slaven Bilic, who has since seen his odds inflate to 7/4, with Marcelo Bielsa way back at 9/1 next.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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